Publication Date

1-31-2017

Abstract

Institutions of higher education are required to submit annual reports of sexual assault crimes to the Department of Education under the Clery Act. The Department of Education makes this data publicly available. Two primary measures are used to assess reporting of assault on campus: the Assault Reporting Ratio (ARR) and the Reporting Rate per 10,000 students (R10K). These measures are easily calculated and can be used to assess practices and policies that impact the reporting of sexual assault on campus.

The ARR and R10K are rate comparisons, a method widely used in public health. These rate comparisons measure how close the institution is to reporting the anticipated number of assaults occurring on campus. Use of these measures allows comparisons between institutions and between years in the same institution. They serve as benchmarks to identify best practices and the impact of legal changes.

The Assault Reporting Ratio compares the reported number of assaults to an estimate of the expected number of assaults. The expected estimate is based on gender-specific assault rates, and college-level (undergraduate or graduate) enrollment based on anonymous survey data. The ARR is expressed as a percentage. An ARR of 100% indicates that the school is counting all of the assaults predicted by national surveys. The R10K is the reported number of assaults per 10,000 students, calculated from the data provided by the institution.

During 2014, 10,607,238 students were enrolled at 1,332 institutions, 82% undergraduates and 18% graduates. A total of 6,429 sexual assaults were reported for all institutions combined. A quarter of institutions (25.7% or 343 colleges) reported no sexual assaults. The summary statistics include all schools with zero reports.

Overall, in 2014, there were 6 reports of sexual assault per 10,000 students (R10K measure). At individual colleges, the range of assault reports was from zero to 215 reports per 10,000 students with a median of 4 (10 IQR). The mean R10K was 9.5 (16.9 SD).

The expected number of assaults in the same population was 282,399. The overall ARR for the country is the reported assaults (6,429) divided by the expected number of assaults (282,399). This figure, 2.3%, indicates that 97.7% of the expected assaults are not reported to the colleges. The median ARR was 1.6% and the mean ARR was 3.5%.

The standardized measures can be used to evaluate institutional policies, changes in programs, and procedures for reports. Attachments include ranking of all institutions in analysis by each measure and Excel, and csv delimited data files.

Comments

Suggested Citation
Karns, M. E. (2017). Reporting of sexual assault: Institutional comparisons, 2014 [Electronic version]. Retrieved [insert date] from Cornell University, ILR School site: http://digitalcommons.ilr.cornell.edu/reports/63/

Required Publisher Statement
Copyright held by the author.